James Goldsborough Bigwood

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Research Archivist by trade.

I love anything and everything that has to do with history! Part of my free time is spent volunteering in the Fort McHenry Guard.

Inquiries welcome.

Yʳ Humbˡ & Obᵗ Svᵗ,

Jaˢ Goldsborough Bigwood

O Cruell Deth Paynfull and Smert by James Ryman (15th-c Franciscan Friar)

O cruell deth paynfull and ſmert,
On the to thenke my hert is colde,
For why noman fro the may ſterte,
Neither riche ne pore, nor yonge ne olde.
Thou ſpareſt not for ſiluir nor golde,
But, in whome thou wilte thy marke ſet,
He ſhall departe withouten lette.

Why art thou ſo cruell to man
Of hym no man griſly to make,
His noſe ſharpe and his lippes wan,
His chēkes pale and his tēthe blāke,
His handes and his fēte to ſhake
And alle his body quake for colde
And returne hym ayene to molde?

"Like to a thinge vayne man is made,
His dayes paſsith, as a ſhadewe,
And, as a floure, fro hym they fade,"
Thus ſeith Dauid, that prophete true.
Seint Iames ſeith: "As a floure newe
By hēte of ſonne turneth to hay,
So mortall man ſhall paſse away."

A thouſand yēre fro hym be paſt,
As yeſterday, the whiche is gone.
In an ymage he paſseth faſt,
This worldes figure paſseth anon:
It is riȝt nouȝt to truſt vppon.
Therefore alwey you redy make,
For, when tyme is, I wille you take.

"What man ſhall lēve and ſē no deth?
No man, truly," thus ſeith Dauid.
"Haue myende, my lyfe is but a breth,"
Thus ſeith Iob according herewith.
His daies, as of a meſsangere, beth.
"More ſwyfter my daies paſseth and lyfe,
Than a webbe of a wēver is cutte with knyfe."

I ſende ſekeneſse you to a taſte
And to meke you in euery place,
But, whenne that I come at the laſt,
I make an ende within ſhorte ſpace.
I ſette no lawe day in the caſe,
For, whenne that I ſey: "Make an ende,"
Withouten delay ye ſhall henſe wende.

Fro mortall deth Crīſt vs defende
And graunte vs alle by his grete grace,
Out of this worlde when we ſhall wende,
In heuen bliſse to haue a place
And hym to ſee there face to face,
That was and is and ay ſhall be
Eternall god in perſones thrē.


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